Saudi health ministry: Face masks alone do not protect from COVID-19

Saudi health ministry: Face masks alone do not protect from COVID-19
Kitchen staff wear protective masks and gloves, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), as they prepare Ramadan meal orders for takeaway and delivery at a restaurant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, April 26, 2020. (Reuters)
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Updated 28 April 2020

Saudi health ministry: Face masks alone do not protect from COVID-19

Saudi health ministry: Face masks alone do not protect from COVID-19
  • Health ministry says it was important for people to practice hand hygiene and social distancing
  • Saudi Arabia recorded a total of 1,266 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday

JEDDAH: A face mask alone will not protect someone from coronavirus, a spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health said Tuesday.

Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly said it was important for people to practice hand hygiene and social distancing in order to protect themselves and others. 

“Wearing a mask while not keeping a safe distance from others, shaking hands, touching surfaces and then touching the face, eyes, nose and mouth, are all factors that defy the recommended health precautions,” the spokesman added. “Therefore, a face mask will not protect a person from infection.”

Al-Abd Al-Aly reminded people to keep following the preventive measures that have been put in place by authorities, including not leaving the house unnecessarily.

“At this stage of the pandemic, cases are rising whether they (people) show symptoms or not. If a person is going to an area where he might be exposed to different people, he must cover his mouth and nose correctly and continuously to prevent exposure to droplets from other people, which lessens the chances of contracting the virus.”

Saudi Arabia recorded a total of 1,266 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, 23 percent of which were Saudi and 77 percent were expats.

The total number of cases in the Kingdom is 20,077. There are 17,141 active cases, 118 of which are critical.

Al-Abd Al-Aly announced 253 new recovered cases, taking the total number of recoveries to 2,784. Eight new deaths were reported, raising the toll to 152.

The latest deaths were of a Saudi man in Jeddah, two Saudi women in Makkah, and five expats in Makkah and Jeddah. Most of them suffered from chronic illnesses.